The Physio Ball

I hope everyone enjoyed the first installment (Nordic Walking) in this three part series: The Best Home Exercising Equipment to Own. The second piece of equipment goes by a few names: Resist-A-Ball, Swiss Ball, Physio Ball and the most obvious the Exercise Ball. This unique piece of exercise equipment has much to offer: Starting with its affordable price and easy to store, makes this a great home piece of equipment. The applications and benefits of this exercise ball are many:

∞ Strength
∞ Flexibility
∞ Balance
∞ increase range of motion
∞ Ability to add and decrease workloads just using body weight and length of your own levers from the ball.

What size ball should you purchase? 

For general purposes, 55 to 65 centimeter in diameter will work fine. There are many sizes for specific movements and exercises, but the best selection of movements and the workout I describe below, 55 to 65 centimeters work best.

So, what do you do with the ball?

6365704555_3b0a7d394a_bBall Push-Ups:

Start by kneeling with the ball against your thighs in front of you. Roll over the top of the ball achieving a plank in the push-up position. Depending on your own strength will determine how far you roll out from the ball. Remember to keep a neutral hip and a good plank form while you perform the push-ups. The other advantage of this is when you fatigue from doing the push ups roll back bringing the pelvis closer to the ball and continue the push ups. This will allow you to overload the chest muscles while just using the length of the body on the ball for added or decreased intensity. Just in this simple movement on the ball, you haveHamstringCurl challenged your balance, core and all the muscles that are incorporated in the push-up.

Hamstrings, balance, and core:
You can easily transition from one exercise to another on the ball. So after your set of push-ups, roll off the ball to a supine (on back) position and place the heels on the center of the ball, with your knees extended. Bring your arms to the side of the torso palms down. Bridge the hip up and leaving the hip extended draw the heels and the ball toward the glutes. Start with ten repetitions at first then and go from there.

SwissBallSquatWall squats:
Take the exercise ball and place against the wall. Place your back on the ball so it sits in the lumbar part of the spine. Place feet away from the wall, so that when you lower your hips your knees hinge, but do go forward; think sitting in a chair.

These three movements will work all your global muscles such as the chest hamstrings quads and yes, the mighty core.

A good sequencing for these exercises is to start with the Ball push-ups, move into the hamstring move, and then transition into the squats. Repeat this sequence three to four times with twelve reps per movement.

Remember these are just a few moves that a person can do with the ball. If you would like to learn more about movement patterns, come see me at the Stoweflake or Studio 108. I run ball classes at both sites. Find out when these are here or contact me with additional questions.

Yours in Health,
Chad Couto

P.s. THANK YOU, everyone, who voted for me as the Best Trainer/Fitness Instructor in the 4393 Awards. It was a total honor to receive such recognition from the community. Thank you!

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